Dr Olivia Jansen Pharmacien PhD Université de Liège Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie

Olivia Jansen is a post-doc researcher at the Laboratory of Pharmacognosy at the University of Liège – ULg (Belgium).

After achieving her Pharmacist Degree at ULg in 2002, she completed two research masters (DEA) in the same University, one in “pharmaceutical sciences” and the other in “chemistry and pharmacology of natural compounds”, dealing with the cytotoxic and anticancer properties of plants from the Uzbek flora and alkaloids isolated from Haplophyllum genus. Then, she travelled to Burkina Faso for 2 years, where she was giving technical assistance on the project “Spiruline Nayalgué” (BF Health Ministry/Technap/Ocades) to set up a quality system and “Good Production Practices” for the local production of spirulina. In Burkina Faso, she was also collaborating with the French NGO “Jardins du monde”, who’s valorizing local plants and knowledges in primary healthcare systems, using the applied ethnopharmacological approach. In the aim to prepare her PhD thesis, this collaboration led to the selection of several plants locally used to cure malaria or fevers.

In 2007, she came back to the Laboratory of Pharmacognosy in Liège where she began a PhD thesis about the antiplasmodial properties of plants used in traditional medicine in Burkina Faso to treat malaria. She was also giving assistance in pedagogic activities linked to the course of Pharmacognosy (practical sessions for phytochemistry, lessons on ethnopharmacology, training of PhD students …) as well as collaborating in several Cooperation projects coordinated by Prof. M. Frédérich, notably in Burkina Faso and in Rwanda. She defended her PhD thesis in biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences in 2013.

She is now working on a Belgian project that aims to extract and valorize high added value secondary metabolites from selected tropical plants, grown in optimized conditions.

She is still particularly interested in ethnopharmacology and the study of the link between traditional uses and knowledges about plants and the possibility to valorize active and safe plants to improve the health level of the local populations, as well to discover new active compounds to cure parasitic disease as malaria.

Medicinal plants, malaria and biotechnology in Africa